Hey peeps! One of the biggest things that hold an aspiring blogger from getting down to things is asking, “What to blog about?” In other words, finding your blog niche is one of the biggest struggles of a new blogger.
Now I’ll be real with you — if you’re starting a blog, normally you’ll fall under two camps.
The first type of blogger is usually a freelancer, small business owner, or someone who has a product to sell. That can be an e-commerce store or an Etsy store. In this case, a blog is a form of marketing for that product or service they’re offering.
The bottom line is, if you already have something to sell, starting a blog isn’t hard. You don’t exactly need a “niche” because all the content you create should revolve around getting people excited about your product or service anyway.
Now if you’re the second type of blogger who is starting with no product or service, choosing a niche can become a struggle. You might just start a blog, publish a couple blog posts and see where it goes.
That’s not a bad strategy (I know that sounds ridiculous), but if you have nothing to lose, I would recommend that you be experimental.
But here’s the catch… you can be experimental and still follow a framework that works.
So here are my steps to figuring out what to blog about. Let’s dive in.
What’s a niche?
The “word” niche can really make this whole blog niche thing so complicated. But the reality is, there is no one correct answer for a niche. Niching isn’t one of those things where you follow a formula, put in the work, and you realize you’ve “found it!”
Whether you’re choosing, finding, or creating your niche, a niche is simply a set of topics/skills you’re knowledgeable about that serves a specific group of people.
There isn’t a black and white line that divides what’s wrong from what’s right. That’s why you see some people blogging about traveling and freelancing and that makes you go, “How does that work out?”
The truth is, it doesn’t. That blend might not work out for you, but it works out for them. Maybe you don’t do the freelance thing. Or you don’t like to travel.
Meanwhile, there are bloggers who serve a specific group of audience. For example, my blog talks about a variety of topics from blogging, WordPress, Pinterest to productivity. But the main audience I serve is bloggers.
What makes a profitable niche?
Now that you know what a niche is, let’s talk about profitable niches. You don’t want any niche, you want something profitable!
And here’s why: you can publish every day, but if it’s not something people search and are willing to pay for, you haven’t created a profitable niche for yourself.
So what makes a profitable niche you might ask?
A profitable niche has these ingredients:
- It’s a topic(s) you’re knowledgeable about and have experience in
- It’s a topic(s) that you won’t get sick of talking about
- It’s something that makes money
Let’s go into detail talking about each of them.
A topic you have experience and knowledge in. Just like you want to learn with someone who has been in your shoes and knows what they’re talking about, your audience wants the same too. You might have experience in several topics, you can talk about both and let the next ingredient determine it.
A topic you love — or at least like. Notice how I didn’t mention passion. I love the word “passion”, but in all the times I was passionate about a celebrity, a job, a place, or a hobby, those were all fleeting moments in my life looking back. I get passionate about things for two months at a time or a year at the most. That’s not to say I never come back to those things or people, but the “passion” usually fizzles and what’s left is a more grounded version of that initial passion. Instead, I like to focus on skills I’m good at (tech, content, and blogging).
Your topic(s) make money. Whether you offer a service or product through your blog, you want your topic to be profitable. The easiest way to see if it’s profitable is to search out similar blog niches and see if there are existing offers/products already. If there isn’t, you might want to move on to other topics.
So that’s it! Those are the three ingredients it takes to find a profitable niche. You don’t want to have any of the ingredients missing.
If you choose a topic merely on passion and profitability, but not based on experience, you won’t establish credibility with your audience. They can probably smell that a mile away.
Likewise, if you a choose a topic you like and have experience in, but it’s not profitable, you have a hobby (and not a business).
Finally, if you choose a topic you have experience in and that’s profitable, but you’re not excited about the topic enough, it’s hard to wake up every morning and work on your projects. In fact, that’s how my skincare blog fizzled after a year though I was able to double my traffic on it every month.
While I don’t think you need to have a passion for a topic, you don’t want to choose something you don’t like or absolutely hate. You don’t need to love it, but if you find something you like, it’ll make your life a lot easier.
How to narrow down topics you love
Now that you know what makes a profitable niche, let’s start honing in on your niche.
If you’re starting your first blog ever, you can make a list of all topics that come to mind.
At this stage, don’t think about profitability yet. Just let all the words flow out from your mind.
When it comes to topics, try to go beyond thinking about just broad categories like “food”, “health”, “travel” or “DIY crafts.”
You can certainly do that, but try to think of specific skills. For example, if you wrote down “health” and went a little bit more specific, you might have come up with “meditation” or “yoga.”
Likewise, when I was offering copywriting services, I went down to specifics like “about page”, “sales page”, and “email sequences.”
There’s nothing wrong with broad topics, but it’s going to be competitive if you’re going to stay broad in 2018.
Instead, think deeper. Skills, abilities, techniques, secret powers, formulas, methods, etc.
Now, what if you have many topics you’re “passionate” about?
I hear this a lot. And it seems to stem from fear of one of the following reasons:
- Excluding people
- Not having enough knowledge in one area so you need a broad range of topics to cover it up
- Not having enough articles to write about
I’ve definitely felt eaten up by the last two before. I constantly feel like I’m running out of new blog post ideas every other month.
If you’re multi-passionate about many ideas, that’s great! Yo, you’re a step ahead of that person who has no ideas.
But passion and talk are cheap if you don’t take action to figure it out. So here’s the deal if you’re multi-passionate: use Pinterest to generate a few blog post ideas and start drafting up blog posts for those ideas.
If you can’t even whip up five blog posts and get it ranked on Pinterest, passion doesn’t matter that much now does it?
Now don’t worry about wasting time writing several posts if that topical niche doesn’t work out at the end. You’ll still get your practice in content writing. The more you do it, the faster and more effective you get at it.
Even though I’ve done it for so long, I still find it the easiest to create content when I batch it. Instead of finding random inspiration, I develop daily habits and work like a boss. I spend 2 weeks writing content for the next 2-3 months. I try to write at least one article a day. And if the article is less than 1000 words (and usually it’s not), I can write two.
Writing is a skill and a muscle. The more frequently you write, the better you get at it. You can’t win if you only plan and never play.
“Pinch of Yum” Example
Secondly, don’t worry even if you start your blog with a few topics. Sometimes that’s how it’s gonna work out. For example, Pinch of Yum is a food blog that also has a segment that teaches aspiring food bloggers how to start a food blog and take food photography.
Notice how that’s two separate topics: food vs food blog photography. And the interesting thing is, she serves two different groups of audiences too.
The first group is anyone who is interested in learning to cook a “pinch of yum” (Oh look, how creative she got with her blog name. I wish I can do that too!). That can be anybody, like me and you.
The second group is anyone who reads her blog, interested in food already but wants to start their OWN food blog. Therefore, this group is for aspiring food bloggers. But because she has an entire food blog of proof of what her photography looks like, it’s also much easier to bring in a new group of audience.
“Love Plus Color” Example
Likewise, Jessica of “Love Plus Color” is a graphic designer who loves travel. On her blog, she writes about both her travel experiences and graphic designing skills.
Although she doesn’t sell any services or products related to travel, the mesh of travel and design is quite seamless on her blog. Her designs are artsy and colorful and her travel photos fit that similar vibe.
It works if you can find a way to make it work. And if you really want to talk about two distinct topics, it can work!
Most people end up creating their own niche based on their unique blend of skills, experiences, knowledge, strengths, and abilities.
You can get ideas and learn from how people have done it, but the best way to find out is to write a few articles and see what sticks for you. Also, eventually, you’ll learn what you want to be known for, not by thinking but by eliminating what you don’t like writing about.
Did this exercise get you thinking more clearly about your niche? Ready to start and launch your blog? My workshop, Blog Successfully, can lead the way.
Now it’s your turn!
Ready to start and launch your own blog with a bang? Did you know that you can:
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